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In my last post, we looked at the interaction between Abigail and David to learn more about how to be strong in the Lord. She is an example of a strong woman who is also godly in her reactions when dealing with difficult people.
Here are some additional thoughts for having that kind of strength:
1. Recognize that you can choose to be strong in Christ, regardless of the person who seems difficult. Don't say, "When he/she meets my need, then I can be the person God wants me to be." God's strength is never dependent on circumstances or the actions of others. (Tweet that!)
2. Look for underlying causes within you of disagreement and anger. Many times our current negative reactions to people stem from past relationships and experiences. We've already settled into ungodly patterns and our ability to respond in God's power is clouded by how people responded in the past.
3. Lovingly set boundaries. Don't allow yourself to be physically, verbally, or emotionally beat up. Before any battle starts, say something like, "I love you and I don't want either of us to say something that we'll regret later. I'll leave and we'll talk about this when we've calmed down."
4. Become a "broken record." If someone can't hear the wise things you're saying even though you've tried different wording, keep saying the same loving thing over and over. Speak calmly and with confidence, not in anger. Stay on the topic of discussion and don't get sidetracked. If the other person argues, use words such as "regardless" or "nevertheless." Say something like, "Regardless, I'm not going to get off on another subject; let's keep to the topic at hand."
5. Use the A-B communication method. (Tweet that!) Whoever is
bringing up the issue is Person A. For up to three minutes he/she explains the issue according to his/her perspective. Then Person B responds (for up to three minutes) by saying what they "heard"--not what their own opinion is--but what they perceive is the other person's sharing. Then Person A (up to three minutes) can make any corrections to Person B's interpretation.
Then the roles are reversed. Person B addresses the same topic for up to three minutes and Person A explains what they are "hearing." Then Person B makes any corrections.
Although this method may not solve every problem, there will be better communication. And that could be the beginning of a solution.
6. If you believe you are in danger of any sort, leave! God does not want you to be hurt in any way.
In what way is your strength being tested currently? Do you feel weak? Do you feel like crumbling, running away, giving in? God stands ready to strengthen you to be the strong woman He wants you to be. As He did with Abigail, He'll guide you to the solutions you need and the inner power to respond in wisdom and love.
(photos by Ambro and Serge Pertasius Photography found at www.freedigitalphotos.net)